Heaven and hell - Danny Cowley on massively contrasting National League loan fortunes of promising Portsmouth pair

It has been a tale of two National League loans – achieving drastically different outcomes.

Wednesday, 27th October 2021, 8:06 pm
Portsmouth defender Haji Mnoga is experiencing a miserable loan spell at Bromley - in contrast to team-mate Jay Mingi at Maidenhead. Picture: Jason Brown/ProSportsImages

While Jay Mingi thrives at Maidenhead, Haji Mnoga continues to struggle for involvement at Bromley.

The promising pair’s spells away from Fratton Park were meant to offer prized match minutes to aid fitness and development.

From Danny Cowley’s perspective, the successful rate has been 50 per cent.

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Certainly central midfielder Mingi is flourishing, netting in Maidenhead’s 3-2 victory over Wrexham on Tuesday night in his fourth start of a 28-day loan.

Meanwhile, the 19-year-old Mnoga has failed to make any of Bromley’s last six squads in an increasingly disappointing arrangement scheduled to end in January.

The Blues duo’s contrasting fate epitomises both sides of the coin when sending players out on loan.

Cowley told The News: ‘Jay is doing well at Maidenhead for what is an initial 28 days with the opportunity to extend.

Jay Mingi scored his first goal for Maidenhead United in front of Hollywood royalty Picture: Portsmouth FC

‘His loan was a little different for us because it was to get fit. Following injury, he was short of fitness, so this has been a good opportunity to give him game time.

‘Sometimes with a busy schedule of Saturday-Tuesday-Saturday, the amount of training you do as a team is less, so it’s hard to get players up to match fitness.

‘It’s good because Maidenhead train for three days, then he comes and trains with us for another two, so we’re able to keep working with him too.

‘It has been a real positive for us. We’ve seen videos of Jay in action so are constantly monitoring his performances.

‘Obviously he was sent off on his debut, although you could see he was tired, but after the ban he has continued to play regularly.’

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As for Mnoga, he has totalled 44 minutes of first-team action for Bromley since making his debut in a 2-2 draw with Chesterfield in September.

Overall there have been four appearances, but the home-grown talent has failed to be included in their last six squads, including Tuesday night’s 1-1 draw at Notts County.

However, Mnoga can continue representing the Blues in the Papa John’s Trophy, with two outings so far this term.

Cowley added: ‘We’re disappointed with the loan for Haji, but, ultimately, it’s his responsibility.

‘If they want opportunities then they have got to make the most of those opportunities.

‘Haji wasn’t available to play in the FA Cup for Bromley. We spoke to them and, if he was going to start, then we would have given him permission to play.

‘He wasn’t, so we didn’t want him cup-tied for playing a bit-part. We didn’t see the value in that.

‘It can be tough when you go out on loan, Haji’s only a young player.’

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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